After weeks of manically scrubbing my hands with soap, Purel, and eye of newt, I ended up getting swine flu anyway. It’s not terribly surprising, since my entire town seems to have become a Petri dish for the viruses this week. I find a stunning clarity to the flu–you don’t feel a little sleep-deprived, or a little raspy. You are just a slave, heeding your body’s call to go to bed. I’m grateful that I am now on the mend, but I’m worried that with so many of us conking out, even a small percentage of serious cases will wreak havoc on hospitals. Someone please remind me why we still make our flu vaccines in chicken eggs?
It just so happens that swine flu was going to be one of the things I plan to talk about over the next few weeks as I head out for a series of talks to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species. I’d rather have to speak about the evolution of swine flu second-hand, but I guess I’ll talk as a former host.
Here are my movements…hope to meet some Loom readers along the way (but only if you’re healthy!)
Sunday November 1. Pasadena, CA: Caltech.
Thursday November 12. New Haven, CT: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Saturday November 14. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University [details to come]
Thursday November 19. Vancouver, British Columbia: Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Thursday, December 3. Denver: Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Friday, December 11. Amherst: University of Massachusetts [details to come]
Saturday, January 16. Research Triangle Park, NC: Science Online 2010. (This is the only talk that’s not a public lecture. I’ll be on a panel discussing science journalism online. You have to register for the entire workshop. But this is definitely one workshop I’d recommend you sign up for.)